A SAFER neighbourhood officer for Romford has been appointed an MBE after helping to raise more than £350,000 to find a cure for terminally ill children.
PC Mark Edwards started his incredible effort after being moved by the plight of Jack Brown, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma – a rare form of cancer – when he was just one year old.
Tragically, treatment for Jack – the son of two serving Met Police officers – was unsuccessful and he died aged seven.
From the moment he heard about Jack's condition, Mark, who has been with the Met for almost 26 years, began to raise funds by running marathons in New York.
He is now a major fundraiser for Jack's PACK (Police Against Cancer in Kids) set up to help children suffering from cancer to travel to New York for treatment.
He takes about 90 officers to New York every year for an annual fund-raiser through Central Park.
Mr Edwards also helps organise the Pull a Plane event at JFK Airport, where officers from the Met go head-to-head with US police trying to drag a passenger jet in the fastest time, which raises significant amounts of money.
The 44-year-old, who lives in Basildon, said: "When my wife told me I'd got an MBE I nearly fell off my chair. I am really humbled and stunned by this. This award is for the whole team who have helped raise the money – not just me. It really is fantastic, I am honoured and don't feel I deserve it."
The borough commander for Havering, Mike Smith, added: "Mark is greatly admired, respected and an inspiration to everyone. He has devoted his time to raising awareness and funds for treatment and research into incurable childhood cancer.
"He is the most selfless, humble, and organised man. He will keep going because there are other children suffering and he wants to help them get better."
It has been a memorable summer for Mark, who was included in the Queen's Birthday Honours List on Saturday.
He has also been awarded a special responsibility in the run-up to the 2012 Games – being among the select team of police officers protecting the Olympic Flame during the Torch relay.
The Met Police's Torch security team is made up of about 70 staff, who will remain with the Flame until it arrives in the Olympic Stadium for the opening ceremony on July 27.
Birthday Honours Pages 16&17